Serbia premier: Workers at Fiat plant in agree to end strike

July 18, 2017
FILE This file photo from Monday, April 16, 2012 shows a factory worker looking at an engine of a Fiat 500 L car in the assembly hall in the Fiat factory, in Kragujevac, some 100 kilometers (70 miles) south of Belgrade, Serbia. Hundreds of Fiat workers marched from the Serbian factory on Tuesday, July 18, 2017, to demand higher wages. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, File)

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Workers from Fiat’s factory in Serbia have agreed to end their strike and return to work after more than two weeks, Serbia’s prime minister said Tuesday.

Ana Brnabic met with the striking workers in the central town of Kragujevac, where the Fiat factory is located. She said the government will organize talks between the workers’ union and the Fiat representatives on Wednesday in Belgrade.

“I will organize the talks and I will be present at the talks,” Brnabic said. “It is important for me to fulfill my promise to the workers and the unions that I will be there while we talk to Fiat.”

The workers earlier marched to Kragujevac City hall, and urged the president and government to intervene. They are demanding higher wages.

The Italian carmaker owns two-thirds of the local subsidiary, while the Serbian government owns the remainder.

Brnabic said the government can’t guarantee the outcome of the talks with Fiat.

Officials have warned the strike is hurting Serbia’s economy which relies heavily on foreign investors. The factory in Kragujevac once produced the boxy Yugo cars, which are generally remembered as being of a low quality.

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